A 43-year old woman went to an orthopedic surgeon with pain in her right elbow. After three unsuccessful visits to the orthopedic surgeon, during which time he gave her cortisone shots in the elbow and put her in a cast, the surgeon decided to conduct surgery.
At the time of surgery, the orthopedic surgeon did not use intraoperative antibiotics, even though he had cut the tendon off the bone and placed a bone anchor in her body and burned tissue using the laser. Three days later, the woman had pain and swelling at the incision site and was diagnosed with a huge post-operative infection, which necessitated another surgery to clean pus out of the wound. In addition, she was told she now had to get a third surgery to reattach the tendon to the bone as the infection totally eroded the tendon from the bone.
After three surgeries, the woman developed complex regional pain syndrome, where nerves are continuously stimulated causing the patient constant pain. She has since had to receive treatment for her pain, including injections into her spine, rigorous physical therapy and even surgery on her shoulder, as she developed a frozen shoulder because she was not able to use her arm as a result of the severe pain.
After seeking legal advice from Rue & Ziffra, the woman’s case was thoroughly and expertly investigated by our talented legal team who sued the orthopedic surgeon. Experts were hired and the legal team argued successfully that the pre-operative treatment was inappropriate and inadequate. Rue & Ziffra, also argued that had she had appropriate and adequate non-operative care, she would not have needed surgery, and therefore could have avoided the infection, the third surgery and the complex regional pain syndrome that she developed. The case was successfully pursued until the eve of trial, where the defendant doctor paid $190,000 in settlement of her claim.